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The Basketball Tournament 2017 GameThread: #1 Golden Eagles vs #16 Midwest Dream Squad

Your favorite team of Marquette alumni start their trek towards the $2 million prize for TBT’s champion.

Assistant coach Travis Diener runs the team through some drills in training camp.
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THE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT 2017 FIRST ROUND

#1 Golden Eagles vs #16 Midwest Dream Squad

Date: Saturday, July 15, 2017
Time: 7:30pm Central
Location: Renaissance Coliseum in Peoria, IL
Streaming: WatchESPN
Twitter Updates: @GoldenEaglesTBT - @MWDreamSquad - @thetournament

After a year of waiting, Golden Eagles, the team of Marquette Golden Eagles basketball alumni, are ready to take the court as they look to win six straight games in The Basketball Tournament and claim the winner-take-all $2 million prize.

As you can see from the top of the page, Golden Eagles were awarded the #1 seed in the Midwest region this year, making them the favorite to advance to Brooklyn for the semifinals. They’ll face more than their fair share of tests along the way if they get there, but for now, the focus has to be on their first round opponent, Midwest Dream Squad.

Here’s the roster for Golden Eagles:

Maurice Acker
Juan Anderson
Lawrence “Trend” Blackledge
Dwight Burke
Dwight Buycks
Joe Chapman
Davante Gardner
Darius Johnson-Odom
Jerel McNeal

Trent Lockett and Jamil Wilson are also on the roster, but both men had NBA Las Vegas Summer League games to play on Friday. It’s unclear at this time whether they’ll be able to make it to Peoria in order to play this weekend. It’s also possible, given the way he’s been playing, that Wilson could have an NBA contract in hand before he leaves Summer League. While he’d be a wonderful addition to the squad, I think he would have to sign that pro deal and get the guaranteed payday which would ultimately prevent him from playing in TBT.

Even without them, it’s a pretty stacked roster for general manager Dan Fitzgerald and coaches Wesley Matthews and Travis Diener. Anderson and Blackledge are new additions to the team this season, and both guys provide rangy athleticism that the team did not have in 2016 when Golden Eagles was bounced from the tournament in the quarterfinals by Always A Brave.

Here’s a video segment from WISN Channel 12 in Milwaukee on the team:

Here’s the roster for Midwest Dream Squad:

Joel Box
Sean Dockery
Shaquille Hines
Marcus Morrison
Adrian Moss
Andre Muse
Bryant Orange
Marcus Posley
Alex Young

Five players on the squad list Division 1 squads as their alma maters, so MDS isn’t going to be a pushover. The most notable guy on the roster is Sean Dockery, who played for four years at Duke while Steve Wojciechowski was an assistant there. Shaquille Hines was a double digit scorer at Texas-Rio Grande Valley, as was Marcus Morrison at Middle Tennessee. Marcus Posley was a prolific scorer for two seasons at St. Bonaventure, even at just six feet tall, and Alex Young averaged over 20 points a game for IUPUI as a senior in 2011-12.

We may be treated to a little bit of star power during this game, as Midwest Dream Squad has NBA point guard and Chicago native Derrick Rose as a booster. Rose is currently without an NBA contract, though, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him skip out on TBT in order to make a few meetings with NBA teams.

This is the third straight season of TBT for Midwest Dream Squad. They reached the Super 17 in 2015 before falling to eventual champion Notre Dame Fighting Alumni, but lost in the first round last year to Armored Athlete.

The winner of this game will advance to Sunday’s second round game. They’ll play the winner of the #8 Majerus SLU Crew vs #9 HBC game, and as per usual for an 8/9 game, that one’s a toss-up. Of course, as Marquette fans, we’d like to see the Rick Majerus inspired Saint Louis alumni team move on, because it would be fun to have the announcers talk about Rick and his time at Marquette, both as an assistant to Al McGuire and as a head coach as well.